Arahat Sanghamittā's Story
The Mahāvaṁsa is a well-known Chronicle from Sri Lanka that has seen a number of translations into English, most famously by Wilhelm Geiger.
It tells the story of the Kings of Sri Lanka, and the establishment of Buddhism in that country, and the support and challenges the religion has received down the ages.
What is little known to the general public is that there is a secondary version of the text, which its editor chose to call the Extended Mahāvaṁsa.
This text is almost twice as long as the original text, which has been accomplished in two ways: through addition and through rewriting. It therefore contains much extra information about all aspects of the story, though the additions are unevenly spread.
The sections presented here are those that pertain to the Arahat Saṅghamittā's story. This is not told, as we might like, in a continuous narrative, but rather – as it is incidental to the main story – comes to us it isolated sections.
Be that as it may, we still have a fairly large and interesting amount of information on a Nun who was – and still is – held in the very highest esteem in Sri Lanka.
The episodes cover her birth, going-forth, journey to Sri Lanka and the central role she played in establishing the religion in that country. It also records her passing, along with the passing of the first generation of missionaries.
For the full text, and versions in html, pdf, epub and mobi see this page: http://www.ancient-buddhist-texts.net/English-Texts/Arahat-Sanghamitta/index.htm